EMC Business Partner Program Revamped

The EMC Business Partner Program was a great success in 2013, particularly for its UK partners, but where would EMC be if we didn’t strive to keep improving everything that we do? The countdown to the unveiling of the new Business Partner Program has commenced, and we can offer you a sneak preview into some of the changes that have been made to keep offering our partners the very best!

Shaking hands small

The industry spends billions of dollars on marketing, so few questions are as important as the question whether marketing activities are providing real ROI, real value for money. This year will focus on making marketing count, by collating lessons learned, sharing next generation marketing concepts and improving the feedback loop process to track spends against pipeline and bookings.

EMC will also be enhancing the advanced sales training to focus more on solutions; instead of offering the narrow solution of a specific software or hardware product, it is important to identify key issues for the customer and their business needs and to develop inclusive solutions that address those needs. Additionally, it will be easier – not to mention more profitable – for partners to provide cloud services by working with EMC’s existing Cloud Service Provider partners.

Hopefully this has ignited your interest – if you’d like to read more about the upcoming EMC Business Partner Program, why not take a look at this blog post by Fred Kohout, the Vice President WW Channel Marketing at EMC, on the EMC Community Network.

Steve O’Neill on the strategic CFO and 2014 predictions


2014 will be the year of the strategic CFO, with CFOs making the transition from book-keeper to a broader strategic adviser and even the CEO-in-waiting. Managing this scale of corporate transformation requires many of the skills CFOs have. In fact, few are better placed to bridge the line of business siloes and support the CEO in assessing and analysing new risks, building business cases for transformative investments, and performing ‘blank page’ planning for the future, relatively unencumbered by attachment to legacy investments and infrastructure.

CFOs sit at a crossroads, and have an opportunity to evolve their roles significantly. Before even considering the volatility in the wider macroeconomic context, the change and transformation catalysed by modern technology are becoming key factors to a business’ survival. Disruptive technologies, particularly those based on the Internet, cloud computing, social media (the “Third Platform”) and Big Data analytics, are forcing long-established businesses to rewrite their business models and go-to-market strategies. Look at the businesses that have struggled and had to change in recent years: Blockbuster video, Kodak cameras, Woolworths and Jessops are just a few that didn’t catch the technology wave that fundamentally changed their respective industries. The changes in IT that are enabling this Third Platform and driving new data analytics is the next new technology wave impacting businesses, so it’s critical that they prepare to ride the wave rather than be engulfed by it.

Although still crucial to the CFO role, governance, compliance, stewardship and fiduciary responsibility are not the only ingredients necessary for business growth. Innovative CFOs are recognising this transition and looking to support the business with the broader challenge of building a platform for growth and future competitiveness.

Consider a fairly standard conversation between a CFO and a CIO. The CIO says, “I need approval to invest in additional infrastructure to support our growing data storage needs.” Does the CFO simply sign off the investment or challenge iterative spending? Is there a way to reframe the way the organisation evaluates its storage requirements? Does increased spending position the business for future growth or improved profitability the CEO has been asking for? Does it help manage the wider challenge of meeting eDiscovery or other requirements that the General Counsel is concerned with? Or in lowering the overall risk profile that the CRO has been asking for? Or in addressing the broader challenge faced with data centre space, power and cooling needs that worry the CIO? Do we need to spend more in the short term to make greater long terms savings?

In 2014 CFOs must look to understand the “why” of their business in order to focus on the strategic “what”, that ultimately will assist in the transition to a business enabler and a more strategic and fulfilling CFO role, a far cry from the ‘CF-no’ of old.

Achievement unlocked – Record-breaking South Pole Expedition

We previously announced the epic, record-breaking journey to the South Pole that Parker Liautaud and his expedition partner Doug Stoup were embarking upon. This voyage came to a successful end on Christmas Eve as Parker and Doug set a new world record for the fastest-ever unsupported walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole – taking 18 days, four hours and 43 minutes, an incredible achievement!

Parker at South Pole - EMC

Parker and Doug travelled for up to 12 hours a day, covering 17.5 miles whilst pulling sleds weighing over 80kg through mist, blizzards and temperatures as low as -50 ˚C. The 314.58 mile trek to the South Pole was a true feat of resilience that tested Parker and his partner to their limits.

Parker into the Horizon

What was particularly valuable about this trip was that it was recorded and analysed in many different ways, from the analysis of snow samples to monitoring Parker’s own biometrics. In addition, the Ice Broker, a custom built Toyota Hilux 6-wheel truck, allowed the expedition to be broadcast live from the Willis Resilience website.

This expedition has also been a great opportunity for Big Data analytics to prove it can provide real value concerning key issues. The snow samples that were collected provide insight into climate dynamics and trends from the past 50 years. This information can help us understand the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet and how melting would cause sea levels to rise. Social activity has also been recorded, displaying what the world has been talking about with regards to climate change, Antarctica, and the Willis Resilience Expedition, highlighting that the discussion around climate change significantly increased around the same time as this expedition and that this is a topic that the mainstream is ready to talk about.

Social Media activity - climate change

Temperature change

EMC is incredibly proud to have been a part of Parker’s story and we are expecting to see many more inspiring applications of Big Data in the near future. If you’d like to read more, you can find all the information about this expedition on the Willis Resilience website. You also access all the video and imagery from the trip here, as well as a selection of some stunning pictures on their Facebook page.



Google Contact Lens and the Implications On Health Data

Google-smart-contact-lens-prototype-Graphic-635Technology giant Google recently revealed that they have begun testing a contact lens that is able to measure the level of glucose in tears. The Google X lab has developed this smart contact lens to help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels.

While this isn’t the first time a company has developed a contact lens of this type, it may be the first time that it gets approval in the US due to Google’s extensive network of partners. As covered in a recent prediction blog post by Stuart Nyemecz, 2014 is expected to be the year that technology will help to facilitate fully integrated healthcare – with technology playing a key role. With new challenges around both an ageing population and the increase of prolonged and costly chronic illnesses, the NHS needs to take a hard look at new technologies and options for managing chronic care issues. In addition, anything that involves real-time data could be hugely valuable in the journey to delivering a preventative healthcare model.

It is interesting to see some of the comments around the cost effective model. Real-time data analysis could potentially be expensive, the Google contact lens would need to frequently read and analyse the chemical make-up of the tears and alert the wearer if there was an issue, but on-going advancements could allow this to be achieved at a cost that is reasonable for a consumer.

This type of innovation can also potentially feed into recent NHS plans around the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) with one of the aims being to deliver improved patient outcomes, and cost-efficient treatment and services innovations.  Investing in an information platform that allows for collaboration to take place both at a biomedical informatics and relationship level is key and the potential of the Google contact lens underlines quite why a wider ecosystem will need to be in place to embrace innovations of this kind that also enable healthcare providers and end users to capture, store and process medical data.

RSA Conference 2014 – What to expect

Whether you attended an RSA conference last year, really wished you had been able to attend one or this is the first you’ve heard about them, please pay attention; This year’s RSA Conference will be taking place from the 24th till the 28th of February at the Moscone Centre in San Fransisco.

RSA Conference 2

In a similar format to previous years that has helped establish RSA Conference as the world’s leading information security conference and exhibition, there is a great line-up of speakers, exhibitors and sponsors to bring you the latest news and technology in the field of security. In addition, delegates have access to all Keynote, Track and Peer2Peer sessions, Codebreakers Bash, Monday Association Events and Innovation Sandbox.

This year’s conference is set to be the biggest yet with over 350 exhibitors engaging with the best and brightest in the field, creating opportunities to learn about information security’s most important issues through face-to-face and online interactions with peers, luminaries and emerging and established companies. There is also the opportunity to attend 2-day skill building sessions run by the SANS institute on topics including Lethal Network Forensics and Mobile Device Security, which take place on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th of February.

Though there may still be a few changes, the agenda for the conference is out so you can start planning your days to make sure you make the most of your time at the conference. Make sure you don’t miss the closing keynote presentation on Friday 28th February, hosted this year by political satirist, best-selling author and host of the Emmy® and Peabody Award® winning series “The Colbert Report” Stephen Colbert!

You might also be interested in joining the RSA Conference Community, where you’ll find plenty of food for thought and you can really get involved and interact with others in the industry. We look forward to seeing you soon in San Francisco!

Long term economic growth and sustainability in the health sector

Last year NHS England announced it was creating a network of 15 new Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to act as a platform on which the NHS, academia and industry can collaborate to identify and rapidly develop innovations. This means that some organisations will need to rethink their traditional ways of working. But through collaboration, organisations such as the NHS, universities, and innovative companies like EMC and our close partner Aridhia can create innovate ways to improve service delivery and patient outcomes.

However, improving outcomes is only part of the AHSN objectives; they have also been tasked with contributing to economic growth. Transforming previously not-for-profit organisations into wealth creation bodies capable of driving economic growth is a major shift in emphasis for the NHS professionals leading the AHSNs. Combine this with the need to deliver improved patient outcomes, and cost-efficient treatment and services innovations, and they have a real challenge on their hands.

Chris Roche, CTO of EMC, as well as Aridhia’s Medical Director Dr Cathy Kelly, and Chief Privacy Officer Kim Kingan, delivered a report entitled Wealth Creation and AHSNs which looked at how CEOs of AHSNs might address the complex challenges they face.

The paper proposes that in order to deliver on each of the AHSN objectives, they should focus on building an open business model that addresses the long tail market of the healthcare system. With collaboration so vital to the success of these networks, investing in an information platform that allows collaboration to take place both at the biomedical informatics and relationship level is key.

Noting that the new AHSN structure could play a central role in accelerating the transformation of healthcare delivery in the UK, the paper introduces business modelling and biomedical informatics concepts that Aridhia and EMC believe will need to be embraced by AHSNs if they are to deliver on the wealth creation agenda.

Raj Jain, newly appointed Managing Director of the Greater Manchester AHSN, had this to say about the paper:

“This is a must read article for all CEOs of healthcare organisations and AHSNs. Never has there been a time when inspiring leadership is more needed. We must be authentic, engage the public and take our staff with us. We are all searching for solutions.

“Transformational is a word that is widely used, but little of it is in evidence. This article will help you think about how to position your organisation to maximise value to the people we serve and help you inspire your staff as you map out a road for them.

“Understanding the transformational implications of “big data” in the biomedical informatics field, understanding how your business model must change and the understanding that the NHS is one of the few healthcare systems in the world that is capable of leading the revolution are the value that you will receive from reading this article and applying your thinking to it.”

Access the full report here: http://www.aridhia.com/about-us/media-centre/resources